Progressive Calendar 02.25.12 /2
From: David Shove (
Date: Sat, 25 Feb 2012 12:23:00 -0800 (PST)
*P R O G R E S S I V E   C A L E N D A R   02.25.12*

1. CUAPB          2.25 1:30pm
2. Northtown vigil 2.25 2pm
3. Nicaragua       2.25 2pm
 4. Climate dinner 2.25 6:30pm
 5. Islam film        2.25 7pm
 6. Palestine        2.25 7pm
7. Vegan chili     2.25 7:30pm

 8. Matt Taibbi  - Conservative chickens come home to roost
9. ed               - Death watch  (haiku)

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From: Michelle Gross <mgresist [at]>
Subject: CUAPB 2.251:30pm

Meetings: Every Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at Walker Church, 3104 16th Avenue
South <>
Communities United Against Police Brutality
3100 16th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55407
Hotline 612-874-STOP (7867)

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From: Vanka485 [at]
Subject: Northtown vigil 2.25 2pm

Peace vigil at Northtown (Old Hwy 10 & University Av), every Saturday 2-3pm

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>From : WAMM
Nicaragua 2.25 2pm

Nicaragua: Little Country with Big Hopes
Saturday, Feb25 2pm Mayday Books-301 Cedar Ave., Minneapolis  Larry Fisk
shares what he and his daughter Abra learned on amonth long visit to
Nicaragua.  The Fisks met with peasant farmers, urban families, some living
at the Managua city dump, women and youth activists, members of the
political opposition, government workers, medical personnel, teachers and
students.  FFI: 218-839 2985

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Climate dinner 2.25 6:30pm

Hello Friends of MN350 This coming weekend staff and climate
leaders from across the
nation will be gathering in Minnesota for a 350 Climate Leaders
Workshop.  Can you help us welcome them for a celebration of the
Minnesota climate movement?

Join us for dinner Saturday, February 25th at 6:30pm at Gandhi Mahal
restaurant in Minneapolis. Meet some of the founders
of  Converse with activists from around the country about the
future of the climate movement.  Share your stories.  Dinner at 6:30, with
a short presentation about MN350 at 7:30
pm.  Please RSVP at:
.  (Small suggested donation at the door)
HELP MN350***We are looking for a videographer to come in and out of the
climate workshop for a few hours on Friday, Saturday and Sunday to
tape video of one and ones and some whole group/activities.  If you
are interested, please contact kate [at]

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Islam film 2.25 7pm

• Saturday, Feb. 25, 7-9:30pm, at Islamic Center of Minnesota, 1401
Gardenia Av. NE, Fridley: Screening of selections from “My So-Called Enemy”
followed by dialogue with trained facilitators—first of 2 evenings with
award-winning films on Israel/Palestine. “Precious Life” shows a week
later, March 3, 7-9:30pm at Mount Zion Temple, 1300 Summit Av., St. Paul.
Series sponsors: Gloria Dei Lutheran, Islamic Center of MN, Mount Zion
Temple, St. Paul Interfaith Network. Open to public, donations invited at
door, refreshments served.

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Palestine 2.25 7pm

You're invited!
MN BBC fundraiser with food, music, and special guests:
musician Eunice Collette
& poets Anya Achtenberg and Richard Broderick
MN Break the Bonds Fundraiser
Sat, Feb 25, 2012 at 7:00 PM
1716 Dupont Ave South
Minneapolis 55403

We are Palestinians, Jews, Christians, Muslims, students, professionals,
parents, community members and allies working together to bring
Palestine-centric education to Minnesota in order to promote justice and
human rights.

We believe:

We, the people of Minnesota, have the moral obligation to make sound
investments that will not aid the oppression of any one race, creed or
people. Minnesota’s investment in Israel supports an apartheid system in
both Israel and the Occupied Territories that causes thousands of civilian
deaths, many of whom are children, and which involves the widespread abuse
of human rights. This system defies a ruling by the International Court of
Justice as well as more than 65 UN Resolutions, and violates the Fourth
Geneva Convention. We demand that the state of Minnesota act on its good
conscience and support the breaking of economic ties with the apartheid
state of Israel.

We say, Minnesota divest from Israel Bonds, Divest for Justice in
Contact the MN Break the Bonds Campaign<>

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From: Unny Nambudiripad unny [at] via
Vegan chili 2.25 7:30pm

3rd Annual Vegan Chili Cook-Off
When: Feb 25, 2012,  07:30 PM to 10:00 PM
Where: Seward Cafe, 2129 East Franklin Avenue Minneapolis, MN 55404
Contact Name: Matt Schroeder
Contact Phone: (612) 276-2242
Join special host Robin Garwood at the Seward Cafe for an event that is
guaranteed to spice up a chilly Minnesota night. Attendees will sample a
variety of delicious vegan chili recipes prepared by local cooks at this
FREE event. Beverages will be provided for washing down some spicy chili.
Over 125 people attended last year’s cook-off, and we expect a similar
crowd again this year! See for details.

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 Conservative Chickens Come Home to Roost By Matt Taibbi
 Rolling Stone  24 February 12

How about that race for the Republican nomination? Was last night's debate
crazy, or what?

Throughout this entire process, the spectacle of these clowns thrashing
each other and continually seizing and then fumbling frontrunner status has
left me with an oddly reassuring feeling, one that I haven't quite been
able to put my finger on. In my younger days I would have just assumed it
was regular old Schadenfreude at the sight of people like Mitt Romney and
Newt Gingrich suffering, but this isn't like that - it's something
different than the pleasure of watching A-Rod strike out in the playoffs.

No, it was while watching the debates last night that it finally hit me:
This is justice. What we have here are chickens coming home to roost. It's
as if all of the American public's bad habits and perverse obsessions are
all coming back to haunt Republican voters in this race: The lack of
attention span, the constant demand for instant gratification, the abject
hunger for negativity, the utter lack of backbone or constancy (we change
our loyalties at the drop of a hat, all it takes is a clever TV ad): these
things are all major factors in the spiraling Republican disaster.

Most importantly, though, the conservative passion for divisive, partisan,
bomb-tossing politics is threatening to permanently cripple the Republican
party. They long ago became more about pointing fingers than about
ideology, and it's finally ruining them.

Oh, sure, your average conservative will insist his belief system is based
upon a passion for the free market and limited government, but that's
mostly a cover story. Instead, the vast team-building exercise that has
driven the broadcasts of people like Rush and Hannity and the talking heads
on Fox for decades now has really been a kind of ongoing Quest for
Orthodoxy, in which the team members congregate in front of the TV and the
radio and share in the warm feeling of pointing the finger at people who
aren't as American as they are, who lack their family values, who don't
share their All-American work ethic.

The finger-pointing game is a fun one to play, but it's a little like drugs
- you have to keep taking bigger and bigger doses in order to get the same

So it starts with a bunch of these people huddling together and saying to
themselves, "We're the real good Americans; our problems are caused by all
those other people out there who don't share our values." At that stage the
real turn-on for the followers is the recognition that there are other
like-minded people out there, and they don't need blood orgies and war
cries to keep the faith strong - bake sales and church retreats will do.

So they form their local Moral Majority outfits, and they put Ronald Reagan
in office, and they sit and wait for the world to revert to a world where
there was one breadwinner in the family, and no teen pregnancy or crime or
poor people, and immigrants worked hard and didn't ask for welfare and had
the decency to speak English - a world that never existed in reality, of
course, but they're waiting for a return to it nonetheless.

Think Ron Paul in the South Carolina debate, when he said that in the '60s,
"there was nobody out in the street suffering with no medical care." Paul
also recalled that after World War II, 10 million soldiers came home and
prospered without any kind of government aid at all - all they needed was a
massive cut to the federal budget, and those soldiers just surfed on the
resultant wave of economic progress.

"You know what the government did? They cut the budget by 60 percent," he
said. "And everybody went back to work again, you didn't need any special

Right - it wasn't like they needed a G.I. Bill or anything. After all,
people were different back then: They didn't want or need welfare, or a
health care program, or any of those things. At least, that's not the way
Paul remembered it.

That's all the early conservative movement was. It was just a heartfelt
request that we go back to the good old days of America as these people
remembered or imagined it. Of course, the problem was, we couldn't go back,
not just because more than half the population (particularly the nonwhite,
non-straight, non-male segment of the population) desperately didn't want
to go back, but also because that America never existed and was therefore
impossible to recreate.

And when we didn't go back to the good old days, this crowd got frustrated,
and suddenly the message stopped being heartfelt and it got an edge to it.

The message went from, "We're the real Americans; the others are the
problem," to, "We're the last line of defense; we hate those other people
and they're our enemies." Now it wasn't just that the rest of us weren't
getting with the program: Now we were also saboteurs, secretly or perhaps
even openly conspiring with America's enemies to prevent her return to the
long-desired Days of Glory.

Now, why would us saboteurs do that? Out of jealousy (we resented their
faith and their family closeness), out of spite, and because we have gonads
instead of morals. In the Clinton years and the early Bush years we started
to hear a lot of this stuff, that the people conservatives described as
"liberals" were not, as we are in fact, normal people who believe in
marriage and family and love their children just as much as conservatives
do, but perverts who subscribe to a sort of religion of hedonism.

"Liberals' only remaining big issue is abortion because of their beloved
sexual revolution," was the way Ann Coulter put it. "That's their cause -
spreading anarchy and polymorphous perversity. Abortion permits that."

So they fought back, and a whole generation of more strident conservative
politicians rose to fight the enemy at home, who conveniently during the
'90s lived in the White House and occasionally practiced polymorphous
perversity there.

Then conservatives managed to elect to the White House a man who was not
only a fundamentalist Christian, but a confirmed anti-intellectual who
never even thought about visiting Europe until, as president, he was forced
to - the perfect champion of all Real Americans!

Surely, things would change now. But they didn't. Life continued to move
drearily into a new and scary future, Spanish-speaking people continued to
roll over the border in droves, queers paraded around in public and even
demanded the right to be married, and America not only didn't go back to
the good old days of the single-breadwinner family, but jobs in general
dried up and you were lucky if Mom and Dad weren't both working two jobs.

During this time we went to war against the Islamic terrorists responsible
for 9/11 by invading an unrelated secular Middle Eastern dictatorship. When
people on the other side protested, the rhetoric became even more
hysterical. Now those of us outside the circle of Real Americans were not
just enemies, but in league with mass-murdering terrorists. In fact, that
slowly became the definition of a "liberal" on a lot of these programs - a

Sean Hannity's bestseller during this time, for Christ's sake, was
subtitled, Defeating terrorism, despotism, and liberalism. "He is doing the
work of what all people who want big government always do, and that is
commit terrorist acts," said Glenn Beck years ago, comparing liberals to
Norweigan mass murderer Anders Breivik.

And when the unthinkable happened, and a black American with a
Muslim-sounding name assumed the throne in the White House, now, suddenly,
we started to hear that liberals were not only in league with terrorists,
but somehow worse than terrorists.

"Terrorism? Yes. That's not the big battle," said Minnesota Republican
congressional candidate Allan Quist a few years ago. "The big battle is in
D.C. with the radicals. They aren't liberals. They are radicals. Obama,
Pelosi, Walz: They're not liberals, they're radicals. They are destroying
our country."

In Spinal Tap terms, the rhetoric by the time Obama got elected already had
gone well past eleven. It was at thirteen, fifteen, twenty …. Our tight
little core of Real Americans by then had, over a series of decades,
decided pretty much the entire rest of the world was shit. Europe we know
about. The Middle East? Let's "carpet bomb it until they can't build a
transitor radio," as Ann Coulter put it. Africa was full of black
terrorists with AIDS, and Asia, too, was a good place to point a finger or
two ("I want to go to war with China," is how Rick Santorum put it).

Here at home, all liberals, gays, Hispanic immigrants, atheists, Hollywood
actors and/or musicians with political opinions, members of the media,
members of congress, TSA officials, animal-lovers, union workers, state
employees with pensions, Occupiers and other assorted unorthodox types had
already long ago been rolled into the enemies list.

Given the continued troubles and the continued failure to return to good
old American values, who else could possibly be to blame? Where else could
they possibly point the finger?

There was only one possible answer, and we're seeing it playing out in this
race: At themselves! And I don't mean they pointed the finger "at
themselves" in the psychologically healthy, self-examining, self-doubting
sort of way. Instead, I mean they pointed "at themselves" in the sense of,
"There are traitors in our ranks. They must be ferreted out and destroyed!"

This is the last stage in any paranoid illness. You start by suspecting
that somebody out there is out to get you; in the end, you're sure that
even the people who love you the most under your own roof, your own
doctors, your parents, your wife and your children, they're in on the plot.
To quote Matt Damon in the almost-underrated spy film The Good Shepherd,
they became convinced that there's "a stranger in the house."

This is where the Republican Party is now. They've run out of foreign
enemies to point fingers at. They've already maxed out the rhetoric against
us orgiastic, anarchy-loving pansexual liberal terrorists. The only
possible remaining explanation for their troubles is that their own leaders
have failed them. There is a stranger in the house!

This current race for the presidential nomination has therefore devolved
into a kind of Freudian Agatha Christie story, in which the disturbed and
highly paranoid voter base by turns tests the orthodoxy of each candidate,
trying to figure out which one is the spy, which one is really Barack Obama
bin Laden-Marx under the candidate mask!

We expected this when Mitt Romney, a man who foolishly once created a
functioning health care program in Massachusetts, was the front-runner. We
knew he was going to have to defend his bona fides against the priesthood
("I'm not convinced," sneered the sideline-sitting conservative Mme.
Defarge, Sarah Palin), that he would have a rough go of it at the CPAC
conference, and so on.

But it's gotten so ridiculous that even Santorum, as paranoid and
hysterical a finger-pointing politician as this country has ever seen, a
man who once insisted with a straight face that there is no such thing as a
liberal Christian - he's now being put through the Electric Conservative
Paranoia Acid Test, and failing!

"He is a fake," Ron Paul said at the Michigan debate last night, to
assorted hoots and cheers. And Santorum, instead of turning around and
laying into Paul, immediately panicked and rubbed his arm as if to say,
"See? I'm made of the right stuff," and said, "I'm real, Ron, I'm real."
These candidates are behaving like Stalinist officials in the late
thirties, each one afraid to be the first to stop applauding.

These people have run out of others to blame, run out of bystanders to
suspect, run out of decent family people to dismiss as Godless, sex-crazed
perverts. They're turning the gun on themselves now. It might be justice,
or it might just be sad. Whatever it is, it's remarkable to watch.

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Death Watch

Billionaires destroy
everything not them and theirs
while we wait and watch.


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